A colleague from Australia – wanting the smoothest possible surface for his kiln-fired painted stained glass – wrote and asked us how we prepared our trays …
We ourselves use whiting (calcium carbonate).
To stop hot glass sticking to the surface of a kiln, whiting is a far simpler solution than, for example, kiln spray, fibre board or kiln paper. And, generally, for a craft which has been going as long as stained glass, the simplest and least technical solutions are best.
Now the important thing is to make sure the whiting is really compressed.
You must squeeze out all hidden pockets of air, and the surface must be smooth.
Unlike the tray you see in the picture top-right: that tray needs some work …
Now why on earth go to all this trouble?
This is how to stop your glass from sticking when it heats, and how to leave its underneath as smooth as silk.
So turn on your speakers and take a look at this video below: you’ll see what we do. It’s me (David) doing all the hard work, while my inestimable colleague (Stephen) does the voice-over …
As always, your comments and questions are welcome and will be helpful to all the other glass painters who visit here.
Postscript in answer to Bill Wrobel
Our trays are made from mild steel. They are each made from four L-shaped bars which are duly welded together to make a tray with a large hole in the middle. To cover this hole, we insert a neatly fitting piece of fibreboard. The whiting is sprinkled and compressed on top.
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